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Do you have a tire that needs to be aired up often? Get your quality used car back on the road again—today, you can learn how to fix a tire leak at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tire Plug & Patch
  • Soapy Water
  • Pliers
  • Jack Stand
  • Jack
  • Lug Wrench
  • Work Gloves
  • Safety Glasses

Before lifting the car—to prevent the wheel from spinning in the air—loosen the lug nuts while the tire is on the ground. Don’t remove them altogether just yet. Now, lift the car and place the jack stands in the proper locations and release the weight off the jack slowly.

Then, remove the lugs and the wheel. Spray a bottle of soapy water along the tread of the tire. The leaky air will cause the soapy water to bubble, revealing the leak point. If you find an object stuck in the tire, remove it with pliers. Be sure to wear a thick glove and safety glasses as tiny objects may be forced outward by the air as you pull them out.

With the object out of the tread, immediately plunge the reamer into the hole, while minimizing released air. This can be difficult to move in and out. The goal is to use the reamer to clean up the hole prior to forcing the plug material in that tight space.

After several passes, leave the reamer in the hole and prepare the plug tool by sliding the plug into the opened end. Remove the reamer and plunge the plug tool into the air hole once the plug’s in place. This will require a lot of strength, so try standing over the tire to get leverage. Once the plug penetrates the tread, quickly pull the tool vertically out to set the plug in place.

If extra plug material sticks out, trim it with your snippers. With the tire off the rim, you can inspect the tire from the inside for any damage that may not have been apparent before. Now, with access to the inside of the tire, carefully razor blade the excess plug material, then, lightly sand down the area so that the patch can lay flush against the rubber to ensure the longevity of the repair.

A chemical cement is then applied to the sanded area and the patches protective cover is removed before installing over the tire plug. The final step: A deburring tool is used to spread the glue evenly under the patch before re-installing the tire.

When it’s all done, be sure to test your quality used car’s tire for leaks again. And keep an eye on the tire in the coming days, testing its pressure every day for the first week.

Ready to get a set of wheels of your own? Our buy here, pay here program allows you to get in a car, regardless of your credit history. Get into a quality used car at The Auto Connection and receive our Best Friend Guarantee, which helps keep you on the road for years to come. Our locations include: Danville, Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia. Get financed today!